The monthly Dunn and Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey has revealed that firms remain cautious about the future in 2013. Explaining why lower interest rates have not provided a substantial stimulatory effect, D&B concluded that businesses have interpreted the cuts as a sign of weakness in the economy instead of a time for investment. The survey found that expectations for sales, investment and employment were all low but profits and selling prices remain satisfactory. For barriers to growth, 45% of companies quoted operating costs with 64% expecting cash flow to be an issue. This highlights the difficult trading conditions faced by businesses at this time. It found that of the sectors, services and wholesale were the most pessimistic about growth, whilst manufacturing was the most upbeat, buoyed by a recent slide in the Australian dollar. (VIEW LINK)
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